BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — In Buffalo’s hotly-contested race for mayor incumbent Byron Brown and challenger India Walton were out playing to their strengths Thursday.

Among the burning issues separating the two Buffalo Democrats law enforcement, equal opportunity, and the unequal sharing of wealth from what has been a booming economy in Buffalo.

Democratic nominee India Walton joined this contingent of new American supporters, even passing through a Byron Brown booth on their way to early voting at the Salvation Army offices on Grant Street. They had just held a rally at the West Side Bazaar.

“And India Walton is like the younger generation where she is fighting so much and standing up for us,” said Kaweye Jumale, Somali Bantu.

“The population of Buffalo is up for the first time in 70 years, not because there is some economic boom. It is because of you, it is because of our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters,” India Walton (D) Democratic nominee for Buffalo mayor said.

Across town, Mayor Brown was attending a ribbon-cutting for two new homes built on formerly vacant lots, part of a neighborhood renaissance in Riverside.

“I was here when we were fighting, with the neighborhood, to get evictions and to get drug dealers out. I was here when we were able to do that through the help of the Brown Administration and the Buffalo Police Department,” Councilman Joe Golombek (D) North District, said.

The significance of these two new builds, developed by the Buffalo and Erie County Land Bank, they were developed by a Black female-owned business.

“From a vacant lot to beautiful, beautiful, beautiful homes and hopefully, and I know we will have nice families in here because so many people have been reaching out, wanting to buy the houses,” added Brenda Calhoun, Onyx Global Group, president.

“And it just shows that minority businesses are growing, women-owned businesses are growing, and there are a number of Black women now, women of color, that are in the development business, and we are very proud of that,” Mayor Brown said.

For her part, India Walton repeated her pledge of making Buffalo a “sanctuary city.” Mayor Brown has said there is no need because Buffalo police have no formal agreement for turning over undocumented aliens to immigration and customs officials.

Al Vaughters is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1994. See more of his work here. To submit a Call 4 Action, click here.

Buffalo Mayoral Race